Jeff Sessions Removed From Office


Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, stunned the populace with his resignation from his post only a day after the midterms. To fill his position, President Trump appointed Matt Whitaker as the acting Attorney General while thanking Sessions for his services in multiple Twitter posts. Whitaker also celebrated Sessions’ previous service, calling him “a dedicated public servant and…a man of integrity.” However, while it may seem that there is no bad blood between the three men, Sessions himself only resigned at President Trump’s request, possibly due to Session’s involvement in the investigation inspecting the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russian officials.

While the relationship between Sessions and Trump now seems strained, they started off well. Sessions was actually the first sitting official to endorse Trump while he was a presidential candidate, and because of this, Trump later appointed him as the head of the National Security Advisory Council once he was elected. However, their relationship eventually frayed due to Session’s involvement in a possible meeting with a Russian official, which he denies. James Comey, the previous FBI director, had to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after he was investigated for his probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server. During that investigation, he said that he had information that would prevent Sessions from continuing to lead the Russia investigation. This controversy possibly contributed to Trump requesting Sessions resignation.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Sessions when he was in office,” Aaron Greisdorf ‘19 said.

“I think his crackdown on non-violent drug crimes and crackdown on border enforcement was probably bad, but in terms of the due process of justice, [his resignation] is not the best thing since he was probably pressured by Trump. I think it’s a continuation of people that Trump doesn’t like tending to drop out of his regime; it’s been happening since he was elected.”

President Trump constantly criticized Sessions while he was in office, especially after he denied his affiliation with Trump’s campaign in 2016 after Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was found guilty of tax and bank fraud. In August, Trump also suggested that Sessions should stop the Mueller investigation, which was an investigation leb by Robert Mueller into the 2016 election, which found multiple member of Trump’s administration guilty of fraud and lying to federal officials. However, now that Sessions is out of the office, that suggestion could now be a reality.

“The Russia investigation has lost one of its greatest members,” Rushil Patange ‘21 said, “who [was] actually devoted to get Trump indicted for his ties and eventually tying into Russia, messing with the election. The Russia election is going to be severely harmed because they have lost a major actor in this investigation.”

Now that Sessions is out of office, the spotlight has turned towards Whitaker, whose selection raised controversy among Democrats. His openness about criticizing the Mueller investigation has caused his political opponents to question the motives behind his appointment, which could possibly not even be constitutional. His position, instead of a temporary one, could now last weeks, or even months, bringing into question the impact Whitaker could have on politics, domestic and foreign.

[The change] would probably change the politics between the two countries,” Patange said. “Russia and the US haven’t been on talking grounds since the Cold War or even before that. I think our President actually having ties with Russia will open up a new department of peace in this region of the world.”

Whitaker ensures that the departmental priorities will not change under his position, although, given his aligning values with the president, that statement may prove false in the future. As Whitaker slowly begins to oversee more and more of the duties of his position as acting Attorney General, only time will tell how the Trump administration, and politics in general, are affected.